NEW DELHI -- In what could be seen as a major step towards ending the VIP culture prevalent in India, the government on Wednesday banned the use of red beacon on vehicles attached to dignitaries, including the Prime Minister, central and state ministers and other VVIPs.
As per sources, the decision taken by the Union Cabinet will be implemented from 1 May.
"In a historic decision, the Cabinet has decided that beacon lights will be removed from all vehicles, barring emergency services vehicles, from 1 May," Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said.
Gadkari is the first minister to remove the beacon from his official vehicle.
The minister said "this government is a government of common masses and has decided to abolish VIP culture of beacon lights and sirens".
The notification in this regard will be issued soon, he said, adding that the decision is a democratic one.
It is reported that four categories would be allowed to use the red beacon- President, Vice President, Chief Justice of India and the Lok Sabha Speaker.
The ban applies to union ministers, chief ministers, state cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court.
It was reported last week that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has called a meeting to discuss whether the red beacon should be discarded or restricted to certain dignitaries.
Captain Amarinder Singh and Yogi Adityanath, the new chief ministers of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, have already taken steps to either end or restrict VIP culture.
In its first cabinet meeting, chaired by Captain Amarinder, the newly formed Punjab Government decided to completely shun the VIP culture by removing the red, yellow and blue beacons from their official vehicles.
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